Thursday, April 17, 2014

Have You Tried Facebook Live Chat Yet?

Let’s face it. With the advent of social media, consumers are looking for swiftness. Gone are the days when consumers were willing to be patient with brands to get their queries resolved. It’s all about ‘Turnaround Time’ now. And Facebook has been quick to catch onto this insight. With Facebook live chat services, Facebook is planning to add a human factor to your fan page, allowing your business to tell its story and solve customer issues all at once.
So what exactly is a ‘Facebook Live Chat’? In simple words, it’s your customer service reps, experts or brand advocates talking directly to your Facebook fans to resolve queries, answer questions or simply give their opinion. I guess Facebook finally seems to be realizing that even for brands, the definition of social media remains unchanged – it’s still People to People, not Brand to People.
Let’s take a look at the advantages of offering Facebook live chat for your customers: 
  • Real-Time Convenience to Customers
  • Cost Efficient (I will elaborate more on this)
  • Stand out Amongst Competitors (this is still a very new concept and one that will allow your brand to stand out)
  • Develop Deeper Customer Relationships
  • Transcripts Offer Data to Improve Customer Service
  • Increase in Conversions and Average Order Values (again, something that I have covered at the end)
Here’s a statistic from ‘Econsultancy’ - 79% audience said they participated in a live chat because they get their questions answered quickly. 46% agreed it was the most efficient communication method. 
When I shared this idea with one of our clients, the very first question that they came up with was, “How is this different from my customer service representative catering to a disgruntled consumer over a telephone conversation?” Well, here’s the response:
Live Chat
Telephone Line
Live chat agents are trained to handle multiple chat sessions simultaneously
Whereas telephone representatives handle one call at a time
Live chat session costs $3-$5 per session
The cost of an average customer service telephone call goes up to $10

Once you have the client’s buy in, this is the next question you usually get: "Are there any best practices?" Here they are:
  • Publicize in advance the live chat date
  • Train your team
  • Consider hiring people with experience
  • Give your customers helpful chat features
  • Don’t forget to boost your social presence – you don’t want them to feel that the entire process is shady just because your Facebook page isn’t complete and active
  • Share the chat after its over – don’t forget the social amplification factor
Now, let’s look at how to execute a Facebook live chat:
  • Login to your Conversion Support account
    • Navigate to “Settings” and click on the “Facebook” icon at the bottom. Click on “Add Conversion Support to your Facebook fan page”
    • Choose the “Facebook page” where you want to install Conversion Support’s live chat software
    • Once you have chosen your page and clicked on “Add Page Tab”, you will be redirected to your Facebook page and will notice the “Conversion Support” icon available
    • To initiate a chat, all you need to do is hit the “Start chat” button in your Facebook page
An article is never complete without a case study. I have included a couple of them:
Case Study 1 – Facebook Live Chat
Traditionally, customers expect a response within 24 hours, but social media is bringing immediacy to interactions that cannot be ignored. Following are the examples of top 10 top brands as measured by their ‘Average First Response Time’ to customer posts on Facebook.
Following are the amount of page posts by others that have a company comment. Investing time and effort to address customer problems and queries leads to a satisfied customer, and even avoids crisis. At the end of a simple Facebook interaction companies can gain one of the biggest assets for any brand on social media that is public recommendations (read: positive brand mentions).  
Case Study 2 – Live Chat platform on website
Virgin Airlines uses a live chat platform on their website to upsell customers with other offerings, which converts customers on chat 3.5 times more than customers that don’t engage in a chat. They also found that customers who were engaged in a live chat when they visited the website had a higher Average order Value of 15%, as compared to those who did not.

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